Bieksa set to return to Canucks lineup

Updated: February 21, 2008, 2:31 PM ET
Associated Press

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Canucks recalled defenseman Kevin Bieksa from their American Hockey League affiliate on Thursday after a one-game conditioning assignment.

Bieksa had been out nearly four months following a deep cut to a calf muscle.

He recorded an assist and finished plus-1 in Manitoba's 2-1 overtime win in Chicago on Wednesday night. He could return to the Canucks' lineup as soon as Thursday night in Nashville -- the team Vancouver was playing when he was injured on Nov. 1.

Bieksa has missed 46 games since the skate of Predators forward Vernon Fiddler dug into his right leg as the two got tangled in a corner during that game. The 26-year-old had to be helped off the ice as blood poured through his socks. He had surgery the next day to repair damage to the calf and other muscles leading to his Achilles tendon.

Bieksa didn't resume skating until Feb. 1.

Last season, he was tops among Canucks defensemen with 12 goals and 42 points. Vancouver drafted the 6-foot, 205-pound Bieksa in the fifth round, 151st overall, in the 2001 draft.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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